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Punishment Park (1971)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  1980 (West Germany)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 4,245 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 60 critic

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Boland ...
First Tribunal Defendant
Kent Foreman ...
Defendant in the tribunal
...
Jay Kaufman, Tribunal Defendant
Luke Johnson ...
Defendant in the tribunal
Katherine Quittner ...
Nancy Smith
...
James Arthur Kohler, Tribunal Defendant
Stan Armsted ...
Charles Robbins
Mary Ellen Kleinhall ...
Allison Mitchner
Mark Keats ...
William C. Hoeger, Tribunal Chairman
Gladys Golden ...
Mary Jurgens, Tribunal Member
Sanford Golden ...
Sen. Harris
George Gregory ...
Mr. Keagan
Norman Sinclair ...
Alfred J. Sully - Tribunal Member
Sigmund Rich ...
Prof. Hazlett
Paul Rosenstein ...
Paul Reynolds - Tribunal Member
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Storyline

"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types across the desert in a type of capture the flag game. The soldiers vow not to interfere with the rebels' progress and merely shepherd them along to their destination. At that point, having obtained their goal, they will be released. The film crew's coverage is meant to insure that the military's intentions are honorable. As the representatives of the 60's counter-culture get nearer to passing this arbitrary test, the soldiers become increasingly hostile, attempting to force the hippies out of their pacifist behavior. A lot of this film appears improvised and in several scenes real tempers seem to flare as some of the "acting" got overaggressive. This is a interesting exercise in situational ethics. The cinéma vérité style, hand-held camera, and ambiguous demands of the director - would the actors be ... Written by Dick Rockwell <dr1orok@atlas.moa.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

1980 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Büntető park  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whole movie was filmed using Eclair 16 mm camera. Theather cut and the version for released DVD is been blown up to 35 mm film. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film, when the defendants of group 638 are listening their sentences and again when they are being asked if the prefer the Punishment Park instead of their original sentences, Allison Mitchner is being referred by the president/judge as Mary Ellen Mitchner. At the start of the film she is being referred as Allison Mitchner. The name of the actress that plays the role of Allison Mitchner is Mary Ellen Kleinhall. See more »

Quotes

Defendant Lee Robert Brown: You don't wanna hear my message. You spent fifty years evolving a propaganda system that'll take the truth and change it into what you wanna hear. You don't wanna hear shit that's gonna mean you might have to give up something. You don't want it. All you wanna do is sit on your fat, dividend-drawing ass and draw dividends.
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits at all. The title doesn't appear until halfway through the closing credits. See more »

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User Reviews

 
the more things change, the more they stay the same...
27 June 2005 | by (Lexington, KY) – See all my reviews

To think this film was made the year I was born. To think people are still having their constitutional rights taken away, now in the name of "homeland security". To think this movie was intentionally banned from the American public. PUNISHMENT PARK addresses the political divide in the United States better than any movie I've ever seen. Had it been more widely seen, would it have changed anything? A movie like this is so polarizing, it has the potential to cause riots. It shakes you up and forces you to take sides. It makes you face the issue: are you for the people's right of dissent in a time of war, or for the constitution being compromised in the name of "national security"? The protagonists are forced by the government to race to the American flag in a game that undermines the very ideals the flag stands for. The acting is totally convincing. So much so, I can't see any acting going on here at all. If this is a scripted documentary, it's more convincing than any reality show on television today. PUNISHMENT PARK is possibly the most important film ever made. It really makes you think.


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